Knowledge Center


Article -> Celebration and Reflection of Mercy

Date Added: December 2019

As we come to the end of another year; many celebrate the holidays, others welcome an end to one year and the beginning of another, some do nothing or are completely stressed by many year-end items, and hopefully there are a few who take time to reflect on the year, people and the coming year.

As I reflect, two stories come to mind. The first is the legend of why robins have red breasts. The story goes that as Jesus was hanging on the cross, a plain brown-breasted robin flew onto one of his hands and tried pulling the nail loose. As much as the robin tried, the nail was too large and driven in too deep.

The robin persevered and never stopped trying, even though the nail never budged. Finally, when Jesus breathed his last breath, the robin fell to the ground and was dead – or so everyone thought. Miraculously, the robin rose, and the breast was now red from Jesus’ blood. For that day on, the robin’s red breast connotes mercy.

The second story relates to a small baby born and completely reliant on others. A baby helped by strangers, kings and many others with little to their names. While the baby was embraced by these individuals and they embraced the baby; as adults, do we do the same? Or do we choose not to engage strangers, the poor, the mentally ill, or others?

Why, as adults, do we not do what the baby did for us? The baby expects us to help others and has invited us to do so. As Bonnie Thurston so eloquently wrote, We who accept the baby's invitation must incarnate the baby's mercy.

As we discern on 2019 and look ahead to 2020, as we celebrate with family and friends, and as we reflect on our lives; let us remember the beginning and the end – both which signify mercy – the compassion or forgiveness shown toward others when it is in our power to do otherwise. May the holidays and new year bring joy, peace and mercy.

David Yeghiaian is committed to inspiring others through faith and leadership. Reach him at
HTMLgraphic Designs